3 Useful Thoughts on How to Understand the Importance of Client Engagement
Advisers are well aware of the importance of acquiring and using people skills in order to succeed as financial professionals. They know they need to be able to understand different personality types, have sound listening skills, and know how to frame and ask the right questions in order to build trust and draw out from clients the information needed to enable the adviser to provide quality targeted advice to their clients.
Often advisers are encouraged to attend training courses or workshops to improve their communication skills.
The Beddoes Institute writes in The Trusted Adviser: Honouring the client at every turn:
Technical skills are a basic expectation that clients have of their financial adviser. These skills are typically easy to observe, quantify and measure and are the primary target of most training organizations. In contrast, interpersonal skills are needed just as much in an advice relationship. These have to do with how people relate to each other and are about communicating, listening, understanding needs, empathy and showing care. While it is harder to train interpersonal skills (as the behavior patterns of adults are already thoroughly ingrained), interpersonal skills can still be effectively learned. Furthermore, while some advisers are naturally gifted with good interpersonal skills and high levels of emotional intelligence, even the most trusted advisers have, at times, had to work hard to acquire new skills in this area that have not come naturally. The key finding from this analysis is that Advisers are almost universally recognized by clients for their outstanding interpersonal skills (mentioned by 82% of clients). These skills extend to advisers communication, ability to listen and understanding needs, and ability to show empathy and genuinely care about the client, all of which are underpinned by high emotional intelligence.
An interesting article and well worth reading, but perhaps a more effective starting point for advisers to be able to develop good interpersonal skills is to begin by understanding their own inherent communication and behavioral style.
- Understand and empathize with what is really being communicated to you by clients about their financial goals
- Understand yourself, including how you would personally respond to the questions you are asking your clients
- Stay focused to understand and empathize with clients even if you dont fully connect with them or what they are saying which leads to building strong, trusting, and rewarding relationships both in your business and personal life
Are Communication Skills Acquired By Nature Or Can They Be Developed? Both ? the key is to understand and develop the inherent behavioral communication skills you have.
Carol Pocklington is a Human Behavior Solutions Analyst at DNA Behavior, assisting with the research and development of behavioral products. DNA Behavior helps grow behaviorally smart businesses and financial advisors worldwide to increase competitive advantage using the most reliable behavioral discovery and performance development systems on cutting-edge technology platforms. Solutions are delivered in the areas of client experience management, financial personality management and human capital management.